By: Fitzroy Vagao
The cause of the economic malaise in Dominica may be a subject of debate, but the Prime Minister is absolutely right in his views in relation to the current union negations.
One cannot commit to recurrently pay out more than they intake.
Union leaders are duty-bound to seek the best that is available for the members, however Mr Letang may indeed be using this matter as a political football.
The IMF, CDB, ECCB and all other monetary institutions have cautioned against the use of CBI proceeds for payment of recurrent expenditure, including salaries and wages.
To demand a wage increase on the basis that CBI funds are being used ‘tou pas tou’ runs contrary to that advice, and acceding to that request would be an irresponsible action on the part of the government.
Furthermore, entering into negotiations with the primary purpose of securing a wage increase may not necessarily be seeking the best that is available for the members.
A 5% increase on an annual salary of $24,000 is an extra $1,200 per annum in the pocket of a member.
The government of St Kitts gave a bonus of a full month’s salary to all public servants this past December.
So Mr Letang would in fact be denying that member a full $800 in that particular year.
There is more than one way to skin a cat.